Dinner and a Movie
Sunday night after a day of work at Valleyfair, Jason, Jeff, and I decided to travel to uptown Minneapolis. Our first stop was my favorite restaurant of all-time, Famous Dave’s. But this uptown Famous Dave’s is a huge place that has a live blues band six nights a week. We all ordered gigantic meals, and only Jeff and I were members of the Clean Plate Club, as Jason dubbed it. Next, we were going to meet up with Patrick Lynch to go to a movie, but he was playing softball, so we went without him. We went to the Uptown theater where independent films are all that play. It’s also the only theater I’ve been to that has a balcony. We saw the documentary Murderball. It’s a movie about paraplegics who have a wheelchair sport where they crash into each other playing a type of rugby. Critics were giving it rave reviews, calling it “easily the best movie of the year.” While I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that, it was still very good. We all enjoyed it.

Monday, a Random Array of Day-Off Activities
Monday was my day off for the week at Valleyfair, so I wanted to make the most of it as usual and do something I haven’t done. I awoke around 10am only to find a disgruntled Cooney looking frantically for his lost car keys, so I volunteered to drive him to work. On my way back to the apartment, I was stuck behind a school bus full of freshman girls from Fulda, Minnesota. They were all waving and giggling, so I waved back. They all giggled some more and ducked behind the seats. Then I saw one of them put up a sign that said “Honk if you’re horny.” I thought it would be funny to get them riled up, so I laid on the horn for a few seconds. Sure enough, they all giggled again and hid. Moments later, one of the girls popped her head up and lifted her shirt up. They all were in hysterics. I was just sitting there shaking my head. Then some douchebag boy came to the back window and pressed his nipple up against the glass. I sped around the bus. My next decision was to hit up that art museum in Minneapolis with the big spoon and cherry. It was only a 20-minute drive, so I walked around that park with all the sculptures for a while. Unfortunately, the indoor part of the museum was closed on Mondays. (Be sure to check out my latest photo gallery for pictures of my trip if you haven’t already). Then I decided that as long as I was in Minneapolis, I should swing by and see if anyone was home at the Patrick Lynch household. Sure enough, Charlie Ahern was there. I hadn’t seen Charlie all summer. He’ll be moving to Jacksonville, Florida soon to start his new job as manager of a refrigerator warehouse. So we chatted for an hour or so, and then I went home. I took some backroads, hoping to avoid traffic on 35W during rush hour. I also stopped and picked up some wine and a bucket of KFC and spent the night in front of the TV. Shortly thereafter, Sam Iverson, Eric Braam, Kayla Laursen, and Vinny Arp all stopped by. We had hoped to get a game of Risk going, but everyone was too tired. Cooney was so tired that he passed out in the living room with his mouth hanging wide open. Kayla dared me to put something in his mouth, so I filled up a vodka bottle cap with some vodka and poured it down his throat. He quickly awoke and said, “Damn that was a strong drink!” He quickly realized that he hadn’t been drinking and that we were just screwing with him. He claimed to be allergic to vodka and went to bed hastily. And that was my day off.

Temporary Plans for the Rest of August
By month’s end, I’ll be back in good ol’ South Dakota, finishing up the last few months of two solid decades of schooling. But for now, I’m still living it up in the metro area. Here’s what’s on the agenda for the rest of the summer. Friday, plans are to go to the Twins/Red Sox game with Patrick, Colin Mangold, Mike Carlson, Igor, and Cooney. After a few more weeks of working, my final day of Valleyfair will be the 22nd. Not kidding this time–that’s really going to be my last day at Valleyfair ever, barring an unexpected trip up in September to work a weekend. That’s also the day Amanda plans to arrive in the Cities. I’ve been hoping that if the DSU crew still comes up, it will be during that time too, because the 23rd is my 23rd birthday, where lots of adventures have been planned. The 25th is the Minnesota State Fair, and we plan on walking around that all day. Then it will be time to pack up and come back to Madison. That is, unless I decide to see the Chargers/Vikings game at the Metrodome the 26th. I just found out today the Chargers would be in town, and it’s likely my only chance to see them play in the foreseeable future. Chances are, that won’t happen, and I’ll be back in Madison on the 27th.

Random Stories | Today’s Topic: Stories from August 5
Of any day over the last several years, August 5 has been perhaps the most eventful. Here is a look at the best of the August 5 stories from the past two years.

3. On August 5, 2003, I decided to buy a digital camera before work. Patrick Lynch worked at a Best Buy in Minnetonka at that time and promised me a killer deal. When I got there, however, I wasn’t inclined to make a purchase. After returning home, I was disappointed that I hadn’t got a camera, so I went to the Best Buy across the street and bought one at retail price. That very camera has taken over 4,000 pictures, but is beginning to crap out on me now.

2. On this date in 2004, I went to a Twins vs. Angels game at the Dome before work with Liz Burke, Tommy Burke, and Casey Van Heel. It was a noon game, so I would have to hurry to get back to Valleyfair as soon as the game was over. Liz had prepared t-shirts with ridiculous sayings on them to wear at the game. Mine said “Wherefore art thou Pedro Munoz?” Casey’s said “Joe Montana Throws Like a Girl,” and Tommy’s said “Denny Hocking… Good Ridens.” Liz also made a giant sign that said “Justin Morneau for Prime Minister.” The game was fun, but I was very late for work.

1. Of course, the greatest August 5 moment took place in 2003 once I got to work. I had heard a TV crew was in the park taping an episode of Elimidate, the popular dating show on WGN and WB. I picked up Jason LaPlant’s hours that day so I could be assured of appearing in the background. The Elimidate people played Top Glo on the short side, which was run by Claire Van Grunsven, who had a speaking part on the show. I stood in the doorway to the game watching on. I was in a great position to appear in the background. Sure enough, when I watched the episode a couple months later, I was indeed on TV.

Top Ten List | Today’s Topic: Songs I Haven’t Thought About in a Long Time Until Now
After hearing some awesome Savage Garden song on the radio today that I hadn’t heard in ages, I thought I’d scan the brain and think of some other good (or not so good) songs that I haven’t heard for a long time.

10. “Where’s the Love?” – Hanson
9. “Rock with You” – Inner Circle
8. “One Sweet Day” – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
7. “U Got It Bad” – Usher
6. “Tell Me It’s Real” – K-Ci and Jojo
5. “Counting Blue Cars” – Dishwalla
4. “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” – Celine Dion
3. “Maria Maria” – Santana w/ The Product G&B
2. “Back Here” – BBMak
1. “Truly Madly Deeply” – Savage Garden

Well, that’s all for Thursday. By the time you’re reading this sentence right here, you will only have a few more words to go.